Literature List and Book Discussion Questions

Literature List and Book Discussion Questions

Below is a list of fiction and non-fiction titles related to relationship abuse, as well as sample questions that can be used during class discussion.


  • Strange Fits of Passion by Anita Shreve
  • Big Girls Don’t Cry by Connie Briscoe
  • Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • Eyes of a Child by Richard North Patterson
  • Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • If She Hollers Let Her Go by Chester Hines
  • Island Justice by Elizabeth Winthrop
  • Jazz by Toni Morrison
  • Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  • Othello by William Shakespeare
  • The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
  • The Rainmaker by John Grisham
  • Rose Madder by Steven King
  • Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo by Ntozake Shange
  • Tar Baby by Toni Morrison
  • The 13th Juror by John T. Lescroart
  • The Woman Who Walked Into Doors by Roddy Doyle
  • This Boy’s Life: A Memoir by Tobias Wolff
  • “Weight” in Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood
  • The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros


  • The Burning Bed: The True Story of Francine Hughes – A Beaten Wife Who Rebelled by Faith McNulty
  • Community Secret: The Story of Two Filipinas by Jaqueline J. Agtuca
  • Deals With the Devil and Other Reasons to Riot by Pearl Cleage
  • Doorways to Freedom by Cynthia Ford
  • I, Tina: My Life Story by Tina Turner
  • Living with the Enemy (photographs) by Donna Ferrato
  • Next Time She’ll Be Dead: Battering and How to Stop It by Ann Jones
  • Point Last Seen (a memoir) by Hannah Nyala
  • The Stalking of Kristin: A Father Investigates the Murder of His Daughter by George Lardner
  • To Have or To Harm: True Stories of Stalkers and Their Victims by Linden Gross
  • Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft
  • Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and What All Men Can Do About It by Jackson Katz

Book Discussion Questions

  • Which characters were impacted by domestic violence in this book, and how were they affected by it?
  • What did you learn about domestic violence from this book?
  • Was the problem handled well, or did the book include stereotypes about the women being abused or the men hurting them?
  • In what ways did other characters in the book help the women experiencing domestic violence to stay safe?
  • If they didn’t reach out to help, why didn’t they and how could they have?
  • In what ways was violence against women portrayed as socially acceptable in this book?
  • Was the problem of domestic violence connected to other social problems faced by the characters (i.e.: child abuse, racism)? How so?
  • Was there victim blaming in this book?
  • How did the book make you feel?
  • Did it remind you of a situation you have experienced yourself?
  • How has that experience affected you?